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Netflix teams up with Smokey Robinson on new Motown-inspired animated series

netflix motown animated series smokey robinson flickr
Becky Mullane/Flickr
Netflix is going to offer supreme temptation for Motown fans in the form of an upcoming, musical animated series. Sure, it may be directed at kids, but the untitled project, announced Wednesday, will have multigenerational appeal with its lineup of classics covered by contemporary artists. That Smokey Robinson is serving as executive music producer is just the cherry on top.

The animated series was created by Josh Wakely, who will also direct, produce, and be the showrunner. Based on the recent trailer for another Wakely-created series, the Beatles-inspired Beat Bugs, we should expect a vibrant, creative world and a star-studded lineup of guest artists. The Motown project will feature a long list of hits, including songs by Robinson, The Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, and more.

As executive music producer, Robinson will be involved in curating cover artists and choosing songs to be included in the series.

“I am thrilled to be a part of this wonderful new series that will embrace the magic of Motown and present our songs to a whole new generation of fans and their entire families,” said Robinson in a statement. “I’m so impressed with Josh’s creative vision for the series and can’t wait to play my part in bringing it to the world.”

The series will incorporate the music into the story of Ben, a shy 8-year-old boy who lives in the imaginary city of Motown. His world is unique, and so is he: Ben can bring street art to life. He and his friends will explore the magic of creativity, all while learning valuable lessons and adding color to their city. Motown-inspired music will serve as the soundtrack to their adventures.

The series is produced for Netflix by Grace: A Storytelling Company in conjunction with Beyond Screen Production. A release date has not yet been announced, but when the show does premiere, its soundtrack will also be released on Melodia/Motown Records.

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